Regardless of how clean of a person you are, it’s important to clean you gadgets several times per year. Think about it, you’ve just purchased your new iPhone 6—your number one priority is to keep it looking just as good as the day you first bought it. Not only are we much more mobile creatures, most of our technology is now also mobile. Despite having the best of intentions, cleaning your devices the wrong way can damage and destroy them. Here are some tips for those who want to know how to safely clean your gadgets.
The Right Tools
As with any job, it’s important to always choose and use the right tools for the job. Depending on the device you’re trying to clean, it’s necessary to have the following items on hand; a handful of cotton swabs, cotton balls, toothpicks, clean cotton rags, microfiber cloths and Magic Erasers. Not all will be used on each device, but each has a specific application to help clean items.
The Right Cleaners
It’s also important to have the right chemicals and substances to clean your electronic devices. Ironically, many of these gadgets can be cleaned with very simple, household items including water, vinegar, rubbing alcohol and compressed air. As is true with the gadget cleaning tools, not all of these cleaning products will be used on each device, but all have multiple uses, are relatively inexpensive, are not harsh products and have other uses around the house.
Cleaning Laptops, Keyboards and Mice
Begin by making sure your gadgets are all turned off. Once you have done so, start your cleaning kick by first blowing all of your devices out with compressed air. Cans of air for cleaning can be purchased from any office store or big box retailer for at minimal cost. Doing this first removes the loose crumbs and debris before you introduce any liquid cleaner to the surface.
One of the “miracle” items that I keep in the house to clean just about anything is a Magic Eraser (or the generic equivalent). These can be dampened with water and gently brushed over just about any surface to remove discoloration or stains. A Magic Eraser not only cleans and removes dirt, but also cuts oils and grease from hard surfaces. This makes it the perfect thing to use on a dirty keyboard, mouse or hard cover to a laptop. Be careful near the screen as a Magic Eraser can scratch a screen beyond repair.
After an initial wipe down with a slightly damp Magic Eraser, begin to work the cracks and crevices with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and wrung semi- dry with a clean cloth. You want to have enough alcohol on the swab to attract the dirt and dust, but not enough to drip down into the device and damage it. Fortunately, if you get a bit too much and it does drip in, rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly. Just be sure to allow the device to dry thoroughly before powering it back on.
A toothpick dipped in rubbing alcohol can be used to remove grime from around buttons, dials and ports. Be careful not to push the toothpick into any areas too hard as to damage the device. Wipe the grime off on a cotton cloth, dip it back in rubbing alcohol and continue to clean the fine creases and buttons on your devices.
To clean an iPhone 6 screen, a solution of half water, half vinegar can be lightly sprayed on a microfiber cloth and gently rubbed on the screen to clean it thoroughly. Pressing too hard can damage the screen permanently and can scratch the surface. Wipe gently and in a circular motion to get the screen clean without causing damage.
When cleaning your gadgets, the number one rule is not to spray any liquid cleaners directly on the device. If you are using a spray cleaner, always spray it lightly on a cloth and clean the item with the damp cloth. Microfiber cloths can be washed and reused over and over again. The biggest benefit is that they don’t leave streaks on screens the way that most paper towels do. Moreover, it is critical to remove your sim cards by using a sim card removal tool. This ensures you don’t ruin anything internally.
Once your gadgets are clean, give them time to dry fully before powering them back on. Now that your devices are sparkling and dust free, it’s time to put them back to use and on their way back to being filthy again.